Debut title: Final Fantasy VII
Year teleased: 1997
In what is often considered the best Final Fantasy game in the series' history, lead hero, Cloud Strife, manages to stick out as the title's most compelling character. A mercenary-for-hire with a troubled past, Cloud appealed to gamers everywhere with his no-bullshit attitude, compelling narrative , and, of course, the Buster Sword. Though the weapon previously belonged to his fallen friend, Zack Fair, Cloud made it all his own in Final Fantasy VII. With a killer backstory, iconic weaponry, and a great game to boot, Cloud makes a serious case for the franchise's greatest character ever.